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Thu May 13 2010 08:27:25

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

By: Ina Steiner

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In 2008, the ACCC regulatory agency said eBay Australia's requirement that PayPal be among the payment choices offered by its sellers was "in itself unlikely to raise trade practices concerns." Two years later, the ACCC has pressured eBay Australia to back down from its policy - an unusual move by the agency that was prompted by the "substantial" number of complaints it had received.

eBay had announced in April 2008 a two-stage plan to ban all payment methods on its Australian marketplace other than its own PayPal service. eBay was soon forced to withdraw its notification after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said consumers should choose whether to use PayPal for their transactions.

However, the agency continued to allow eBay Australia to require that all sellers accept PayPal.

Today, eBay Australia and the ACCC issued separate statements on the matter, with eBay announcing that it was modifying its policy. The ACCC acknowledged that it was pressure it received - presumably from eBay sellers - that kept its investigation open:

"It is not customary for the ACCC to refer to investigations that are not in the public arena, however a substantial number of complaints have been received about certain eBay policies which affect the offering and acceptance by eBay traders of online payment services."

Will users feel eBay went far enough with its policy change? eBay will continue to limit the choices for payment. Beginning July 14, eBay's Accepted Payments policy will require sellers offer at least one of three accepted safer payment methods: PayPal, Paymate and merchant credit card. However, other payment methods such as Google Checkout are still banned from the site.

eBay also has restrictions on the payment methods sellers are allowed to offer on its other marketplaces. In the UK, eBay offers a similar requirement to the one it just relaxed in Australia: "eBay requires all sellers listing on eBay.co.uk to offer payments through PayPal (with some exceptions)," and allows sellers to also offer merchant credit cards, bank electronic payments, and payment upon pickup.

In the U.S., sellers are required to offer one or more of the following electronic payment choices: PayPal, ProPay, Moneybookers, Paymate, merchant credit card (payment upon pickup and Bill Me Later are valid payment methods as well). Cash and checks are banned.

eBay Australia's payments policy clearly mattered to Google, which has its own payment service - in 2008, it filed an anonymous complaint with the ACCC calling eBay's policy to go PayPal-only anti-competitive. (An AuctionBytes reader outed Google as the complainant.)

Paymate had also filed a complaint with the ACCC in 2008.

Given the ACCC's statement, it seems likely that it was sellers in Australia that kept the pressure on the agency. It appears the agency now considers the matter closed, at least for the time being. Its statement today read, "The ACCC has decided to discontinue its current inquiries into eBay's payment policies. However, this does not restrict the ACCC from reviewing the effects of eBay or PayPal's conduct in Australia if it raises competition concerns in the future."




Comments (27) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: fat frog

Thu May 13 09:22:57 2010

Maybe Ebay can no longer hold them hostage for fear of reprecussions from the ACCC. No back pocket for Ebay.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: PayPal No More

Thu May 13 09:23:35 2010

This just shows what resolve can do. eBay Oz sellers kept pressure on the ACCC, and eBay had to relent. So keep the faith - eBay is not bigger than the law!

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Kevin_T
Web Site

Thu May 13 10:36:59 2010

Of course, this may NOT be a backdown, but the first step towards banning all OTHER payment options. Thus when they ban paper payments and direct deposits, they will be able to tell the ACCC that they have a variety of options for payments, and get around the problems of last time... then, almost everything will be paid for with PayPal.

I believe that this was where it was heading when they allowed Paymate onto the US site last year.

Kind Regards,  Kevin

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 10:57:44 2010

Just proves to me that the US contains the largest milking herd of sellers.  We seemingly have no law...no government agency that can or will protect us.  So....Ebay/Paypal run rampant on us and pick our bones.  Yes, the Oz folks have big ones but we seem to have been neutered long ago and we barely complain about it!

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 11:47:44 2010

no doubt ebay spooked the Australia sellers to lobby on behalf of ebay, just like all the other countries who stand in ebays way. I wonder if those same sellers would of done that if they knew that what ebay plans to do with the US ebay small sellers is going to eventually make it to your country. Ebays gonna throw most of us under the bus. ebays not your friend or your partner. they are in many ways your competitor

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Fruity This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 11:56:25 2010

ps. ALSO I wonder if this has anything to do with the anti money laundering compliance problemos Paypal has been facing in countries, including AUSTRALIA. And that how paypal seemed to emphasize all the MONEY they were putting in to Australia, including HIRING. ie JOBS.

Is there any Australia message board off ebay where Ebay Aussies hang out? Someone link me please

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: ab-fan

Thu May 13 13:13:22 2010

@Fruity: here's popular aussie forum with many topics re. eBay/Paypal:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum/91?g=108

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Thu May 13 14:25:27 2010

Also, a group of users in Australia, tired of eBay’s censorship/harassment, recently started their own forum (both sellers AND buyers are welcome; even me) at
http://www.ozroundtable.com

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Sejanus

Thu May 13 14:29:30 2010

ePal bites the big one.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Oz Unity

Thu May 13 19:21:17 2010

@fruity www.Ozroundtable.com is one of the largest growing off Ebay sites for open discussion regarding Ebay and PayPal, it comprises itself of many of those key in spearheading the charge against EBay to the ACCC regarding the PayPal only issues of 2008, its a good mix of fun and seriousness where a lot of people turn for help voicing issues that EBay censor on its main forum these days.

Back to the main subject, many in Oz are watching EBay closely, we all know the other shoe will drop soon enough, Ebay.au set up an 'ask the pinks" thread where legitimate questions regarding the changes are being asked and unfortunately answered by Daniel Fieler and associates with the usual spin and deflection tactics.
It's worth a read though.

http://forums.ebay.com.au/topic/Recent-Ebay-News/July-C
hanges-Ask/600132560#1273763615740

While
the new Three payment system is an improvement there is still NO real protection for Sellers especially on pickup items if buyers use PayPal, or Paymate, Mr. Fieler also stated that Ebay's protection policies do not extend to the use of Paymate or Merchant facilities.

Ebay, Australia is watching YOU very closely indeed.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu May 13 20:42:28 2010

All the protection you need can be obtained by using your credit card as the source of funds; no system is perfect but the major credit card processors have a mediation process that (in my experience) is fair and balanced, unlike PayPal's buyer-biased mediation, which, due to their total lack of professionalism, can is little more than a potential facilitator of fraud on sellers.

eBay/PayPal/Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: mickeyfinn This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 13 22:11:33 2010

There has been an amendment to the Australian Trade Practices Act - part 1 has only just gone through and part 2 is currently before the Australian parliament.

I have been informed that this legislation is the driver for eBay's ''change of heart''.

EBay would not advertise this and, in fact, HAS been CENSORING any references to it on the eBay forums. Any contradiction to their spin is removed - and the reasons cited bear NO relevance whatsoever to the content or context of those posts.

No surprise there.

I have been trying to access the government website that contains the legislation, but it appears to be overloaded. Over the last 24 hours I have only had the summary page load once - and have not been able to download any of the documents available.


This legislation is no surprise. Many voices - including those of the Reserve Bank, industry groups and merchants - have been making concerted efforts for change ever since eBay's abortive 'PayPal only' attempt a couple of years ago.

Aussie's only wanted a 'fair go' ... and have, it seems, pushed things one step BIG further in that direction.

... and if you still think eBay made this magnanimous gesture from the bottom of their heart - I have this big steel bridge in Sydney I can sell you for a real good price.....

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: nisnevada

Thu May 13 22:40:52 2010

since ebay has assumed the automatic transaction reversal practices of paypal, the "safety" excuse to mandate paypal is gelded... *everywhere*.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: ebay nonsense

Fri May 14 00:20:59 2010

Dear Google,

Please purchase Paymate and call it Google Paymate Checkout and make a whole lot of ebay sellers happy. LOL

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Robbers Dog

Fri May 14 01:40:57 2010

Re the post by Oz Unity. I agree wholehearedly with your first para referring to  www.Ozroundtable.com

This website was referred to me and I have read many of it's threads & posts, both Ebay & non Ebay related. It is an excellent website forum.

I am reliably informed by the person who referred me to the site that there is another section available to members only & that this section is a lot of fun with many clever & wity people posting.

Based on what I have read already, this site leaves the EBay forums for dead. There is no baiting nor are there any bullying type members like there are on the Ebay forums. One of the Ebay forum female members is very bad & I believe is banished at this time & there are two alleged males who try to rule the roost by, critisizing & belittling others & generally putting posters down if they don't agree with them.

Anyone who wants to fully understand the gist of the recently announced legislation & it's possible ramifications for Ebay buyers & sellers should read the relevant thread found on this website.

I'm going to apply to join the OZ Roundtable as I find the Ebay forums a lost cause these days due to the harsh censorship of posts by Ebay & the gang mentality of several of the more unpleasant Ebay posters.  

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Lee

Fri May 14 14:02:17 2010

I did ebay for nearly nine years using cash , checks and money orders, never had one bounced check and no problems.Never wanted to get into paypal.Had TONS of buyers.Sold military books and patches.Ebay lost a lot of sellers and buyers when they forced paypal. They messed everything up for us good american sellers and buyers.Anyway, they don't care.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: buck efay

Fri May 14 17:12:26 2010

Cash Checks & Money orders ARE NOT BANNED on Ebay, just that the 2 year old mentality of ebay's ceo referenced in another thread here have forced sellers to play games. Of course, if you search ebay, routinely thousands of listings that state MOs accepted, and the new swerve, putting it in HTML or images since the DUMMIES that run ebay can't be bothered to investigate user reports. Last I looked, over 1000 listings, mostly TRS sellers were soliciting MOs. Buck Efay.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: Steve

Fri May 14 18:10:43 2010

Makes one want to move to Australia.  Nice to see the evil empire of Ebay/PayPal didn't get there way on this one.

Take that and stuff it Donahoe.

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: sandypurins

Fri May 14 22:16:15 2010

I'm from Australia and I know for a fact that all real Australians love PayPal!

Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?   Why Did eBay Australia Back Down on PayPal Policy?

by: another side of the coin

Sat May 15 02:52:06 2010

I didn't think Aussies were big on Kool-Aid. I suppose some do drink from the well.

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